I Love Podcasts
I'll tell anyone who listens that I love podcasts, and spend a good chunk of time each week listening to a variety of them. I'll also audibly sigh whenever someone asks me what podcasts I listen to, because there are so many and I don't want to name just one. With that in mind, here's a little run-down of some of my favourite podcasts, and I why they've resonated with me. If you're one of the (likely many) people who have asked me what I listen to, and dismissively received a link to this page in response, welcome! I value our relationship, just not enough to give you a personal response.
My Current Obsessions
Lovett or Leave It
I don't want to sound like a wanker by saying my relationship with politics is complex, but my relationship with politics is complex. I try not to view it simply as entertainment, even though it's easy to get wrapped up in the theatre of it all, particularly in the era of Trump. That said, sometimes it's great just to have a sarcastic laugh at the absurdity of the state of America, and it can be pretty therapeutic.
With regular games such as "Ok Stop." "Too Stupid to be True" and "The Rant Wheel", Lovett or Leave it wraps up the week in politics in a hilariously satisfying way, while still managing to educate, inform and inspire.
Pod Save America
What is is.
Flagship Podcast of the Crooked Media empire*, Pod Save America is a twice weekly US politics podcast hosted by ex-Obama administration staffers Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Tommy Vietor and Dan Pfeiffer. Unapologetically partisan in its support for liberal ideals, the podcast is equal parts political explainer and a call-to-arms for liberals who may have felt disheartened by an out of touch democratic leadership, and a president who stands as the antithesis of all they stand for.
Why I love it.
Right from the opening ad and theme song of the podcast, Pod Save America oozes fun and optimism in the face of some fairly terrifying world developments. This isn't to say that politics is treated like a game or entertainment - there is an undercurrent of seriousness even during the regular moments of levity. I also appreciate the fact that each of the hosts and their guests speak like regular human beings, rather than politicians or journalists who often weigh every word they utter.
Who it's for.
If you're looking for regular explainers on the state of US Politics this podcast is for you. If you're looking to be inspired into action to get off your seat and engage in grass-roots politics this podcast is for you. If you just need a few friends to sit you down, tell you you're not crazy and let you know that things are indeed as bad as, but more hopeful than you might think, this podcast is for you.
What it is.
The phrase "getting into the weeds" or simply, "the weeds" is a colloquialism for devlving into . the details of a particular subject, or as HQ Quiz host Scott Rogowski might say, "getting down to the nitty gritty". The Weeds is a deep dive on the policy behind current events in US politics.
Why I love it.
When I have discussions about why America's health care is so broken, or debates with conservatives about any number of issues, I'll often find myself running into gaps in my knowledge, areas where I can't comfortably engage in the discourse because my understanding of the complexities of US policy are lacking. While gaps still exist, they're fewer in number from having listened to The Weeds.
Who it's for.
If you want to stay super-informed about the big policy debates, learn exactly what the hell is up with America's health-care system or why Trumps "historic tax-reform" benefits the wealthiest 1%, this podcast is for you.